Skip to main content

Winston Churchill and Data Analysis

A really interesting post on the importance and perils of reliance on data by Carl Carter-Schwendler via @m3sweatt.

The reason is that the Prime Minister, Baldwin, had access to most if not all of the same information that Churchill had but did not form the same conclusion. That's the peril of data. It doesn't actually make decisions for you. Furthermore, I'm fairly confident that Churchill would have formed the same opinion about Hitler even if he didn't have access to the data. Given that this same dynamic plays itself out over and over, you can be forgiven for wondering if data actually helps at all.
This was indeed a fascinating time in British history and, while our recollection of history quite possibly distorts some of the details and circumstances of the time, there remains much to be learned from it.